2004-12-10 / Community

Addabbo: Require Hot Meals For Seniors

Concerned about the Bloomberg administration’s current efforts to deliver only frozen meals to senior citizens participating in the home delivered meals program, Councilman Joseph Addabbo, Jr. has sponsored legislation in the council that would require the city to deliver hot meals to the senior citizens daily, Monday through Friday, unless the senior citizen specifically signs an authorization in writing requesting that a frozen meal be delivered to his/her home. Addabbo’s legislation also states that the senior may revoke this authorization in writing at any time.

Councilman Addabbo noted that over the past twenty years, the number of meals delivered to the homebound elderly has increased three hundred percent. Census information shows that the number of New Yorkers aged 85 and over has doubled over the last thirty years. Addabbo criticized the city administration for their efforts to negatively restructure the home delivered meals program stating that it would be a grave mistake to implement such changes which would have a detrimental effect on the frail senior citizens who benefit from these services. “Our seniors deserve a fresh warm meal and a personal visit by those who deliver these meals. The Administration should not be looking to save a few dollars at the expense of our seniors.” Addabbo stated.

The councilman said that home delivered meals serve many purposes. Not only does the daily delivery of food provide a nutritious meal that is sensitive to the dietary requirements of seniors, but this service keeps seniors connected to the world outside of their home, and acts as a safety net early warning system when a senior has fallen, become ill, or needs additional help. Addabbo added that in many instances, the daily contact between recipients of home delivered meals and the staff that deliver them are even more important than the meals themselves. “I am concerned that the proposed home delivered meals program restructuring would mean fewer home visits to the senior citizens. I will continue to work at providing better services for our seniors, including fresh warm meals”, the councilman concluded.

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